With financial advisors amidst a financial crisis, I find that some chuck whatever communication strategy they might have, jump under the table, and actively avoid their clients. However, the successful financial advisors I have worked with actually went the other way. In the middle of a financial crisis, they talked to their clients more than ever. This is because, when things calmed down again and people were ready to invest, the first person that came to mind was the advisor who reached out consistently. Also, it was a much better strategy to not only keep their clients from panicking in many cases they invested more with the advisor.
When I tell people about the importance of communication and how much they need to be in contact with their customers, many give me the same answer. “I’m really busy already.” If you are looking to grow your client base, then this answer isn’t really good enough.
However, most of the solution is to make most communication one to many as opposed to just one to one. A webinar or Zoom meeting with 50 clients takes as much time as a one on one meeting and accomplished much of the same relationship building if done properly. Note cards and holiday cards create a personal touch, even if you are sending 13,000 at a time.
As an advisors your communications strategy might look like this:
- Daily client email newsletter that’s short, chatty, personal, and topical about current events. If you can’t manage daily this could be 2 or 3 times per week but it must be regular.
- A monthly physical newsletter mailed about current topics and trends. Much of this could be material provided by your company or other sources but, I’d always add at least a personal note or cover letter.
- Weekly podcast that your clients are encouraged to subscribe to that gives entertaining and educational content featuring your personality often with you interviewing other “experts” or having a friendly relevant discussion with a colleague.
- A monthly personal note card.
- A monthly live event online that clients are encouraged to invite their friends to attend that’s engaging and educational.
- Periodic “unexpected gifts” tied to any life events such as new baby, retirement, hospitalization, anniversaries, or anything else you can come up with as an excuse to send cookies, fruit, or other gift. For new clients I’ve often subscribed them to the fruit of the month with Harry and David’s or some other provider or, perhaps to a automatic gift quarterly.
Them liking you and thinking that you are competent isn’t enough.
The client or prospect should not only have warm and fuzzy feelings about you, for want of a more technical term. If they like you and you are highly competent in handling their affairs that still doesn’t mean they will support you by talking about you and sharing information about your business with friends and associates.
Those are foundational but not adequate.
You must become memorable. Be unique. Be are a real person not a “financial caricature.” Be fun to be around. I’ve talked in other chapters about creating an interesting persona. About how sharing hobbies and personal details is attractive if done right. No one wants to sit around and talk about an advisor who’s bland. Make sure you’re not the same as everyone else. Be unique and interesting.
Be yourself, just an amplified even exaggerated version. And, put emphasis on the things that make you unique.
Create “Pass-A-Long” Tools for your Clients.
The most valuable pass-along tool is a book with you as the author. No matter how many books are published annually, being “the one who wrote the book on the subject” still carries a lot of weight. It instantly makes you the credible expert.
Now, the immediate response by many advisors that I speak with is that they couldn’t possibly sit down and write a book or, that it would take too long.
For our purposes you don’t need to create your “magnum opus”
Often printed books that work just great for our clients are little more than an extended report. A perfectly useful book for your purposes might only be 30 or 40 pages focused narrowly on a topic or two. Printed to look like a published book in Barnes and Noble.
To be honest, your book doesn’t have to be written by you. Or, at least not completely.
How to “Author” a Book
Option 1. Outsourced: There are very good companies that will do an interview with you on your topic and, then do additional research and write it for you. My friend Adam Witty’s company: Forbes Books (at the high end of the spectrum) to another friend’s company (Tracy Thomas) Rev Marketing will coordinate an interview then hire a ghost writer to create the written content and then handle all of the publishing details.
Option 2: Co-Authored with me or someone else. Advisor Wealth Mastery has a couple of books that I let coaching clients co-author by adding some personal content and publishing as the two of us. This is a quick way to add an introduction, biography, and chapter on your specialty and then be done and published.
Option 3: Recycled material published in different format. My “Way of the Mile High Maverick” book is a compilation of client newsletters. Each 8 page newsletter was lightly edited to be a chapter and ended up being a 200+ page book that was VERY well received. I had written a monthly 8 page newsletters for many years and we just took a subset of those and lightly edited them.
Option 4: Just “knock it out” while making it fun. My “Everything I Wish I Knew When I Was 22” book began as an after-thought. I’d put together iteration #1 of my Extraordinary Marketing Program back in 1999 focusing primarily on internet marketing. I decided it needed something else to round it out. It was a nice summer weekend, so I road my Harley from Evergreen through Independence Pass to Aspen, Colorado for the weekend. With my laptop in my side bags. I spent most of the day that Saturday sitting at a table in a downtown restaurant/bar knocking the book out. Most of the time sitting Kurt Russell (who just happened to be there at the time.). The first version of the book was finished in a day and a half. 23 years later it’s into the 7th or 8th edition.
Option 5: Turn Conversations into Chapters. Yet another book that I’ve written started out as a series of 30-40 minute interviews. They were transcribed. Then a ghost writer made them readable. Ultimately I rewrote the chapters to fix the “voice.” And it became another substantial book.
It’s easier than you think. And, more valuable than you may realize.
Books and Podcasts
I’ve seen books that where the chapters were transcribed podcasts. Others where most of the book were articles from guest contributors (think the Chicken Soup for the Soul series from Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen – at last count 232 of them!). Others that were a very small amount of written content with interesting graphic depiction (think a business version of a graphic novel”) an excellent example is “Detox, Declutter, Dominate” by my friends Perry Marshall & Robert Skrob.
A very successful advisor that I’ve worked with has had such incredible success with books as a pass along tool that he’s putting together a new small book quarterly and mailing multiple copies to each of his clients. It’s creating a steady flow of high quality clients into his practice.
Your book is a wonderful credibility building pass-along tool to help you create a steady stream of referrals. By the way, it’s perfect as a “lead-magnet” for all of your external marketing and, it’s extremely useful as a key component of a “shock and awe” package as well. The last thing to remember is that most people who receive your book won’t read it, at least not cover to cover. They may read the cover and a chapter or two but the value isn’t so much in the content it’s in establishing credibility and to be gifted as a referral tool.
Interesting eBooks vs Printed Books Statistics
- Print books out-sell eBooks 4-to1
- 191 million e-books were sold in the United States in 2020
- Printed book sales amounted to 750.89 million units in 2020
- Print book sales have increased 13.2% between 2020 and 2021, and 21%between 2019 and 2021
- eBook sales grew by 22% in 2020
- eBook sales have decreased 8% in 2021 but are still 8% higher than they were in 2019
- In 2020, 19% of adult readers owned an e-reader, a decrease from 32% of adult readers who owned e-readers in 2014